June 13, 2009

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone -- Twinkle Echo

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone wins my award for Band Name That Best Captures The Band's Sound. While this may not seems like a very honorable title, rest assured that it still fits perfectly. Owen Ashworth, the main driving force behind CftPA, crafts melancholy lyrics that totally oppose everything set forth in the lo-fi, catchy, driving rhythms that eminate from his Casiotone keyboard and back up his songs. Even though these two forces seem to be going in opposite directions, they actually combine, highlight each other, and make for some really awesome songs. Superficially, these songs really are stories about people that are Painfully Alone ('Roberta C.', 'Calloused Fingers Won't Make You Strong, Edith Wong', 'Half Ghost'), but under the layers of wit and Casiotone beats, Ashworth explores many facets of human nature and the vicious circles we trap ourselves in. In all honesty, however, this is exactly what the short story writer should set out to do, and that's what Owen Ashworth does well. Really, his songs are short stories set against a soundtrack in a book-on-tape fashion. Sure, these stories may rhyme and flow, but that doesn't take anything away from their beauty or their significance. On a related note, Owen Ashworth is tied with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats for the Biggest Asshole To Their Respective Invented Characters award. Sorry Owen, if you're going to make your characters trudge through the lives they lead without at least letting them get hit by a bus or something, it's bound to happen.

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